Top 6 TVs of 2019

Is being an early adopter worth the high price of entry?

Credit: Samsung

If you’re looking to buy big-name, high-end TV in 2019, the question you’re faced with isn’t OLED vs QLED. It’s 4K vs 8K. The latter are finally a reality, and while early adoption comes with its perks, there are still plenty of reasons to stick the best of right now rather than take your first steps towards the future of home entertainment.

8K might be here but 4K is where the bulk of the action is happening in the home entertainment space. Pixel-counts aside, the latter still provides plenty of thrills and there are numerous options to pick from no matter your brand of choice.

To help sift you through the crowded market, here are our picks for the top 6 4K TVs of 2019.

Samsung Q90 4K QLED TV

Samsung Q90 QLED 4K TVCredit: Samsung
Samsung Q90 QLED 4K TV

What’s good about it?

Although the picture quality is nothing to snuff at, it wouldn’t be hard to make the argument the Samsung Q90’s biggest assets come from its more-ancillary aspects. Things like the Q90’s Tizen-powered smart TV interface, Samsung’s One Remote, the One Connect Box and fully-featured voice controls (via Bixby, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa). 

Under the hood, the Q90 comes powered by Samsung’s Quantum Processor, which actively works to enhance and upscale all content to 4K regardless of its original resolution. 

What’s not so good about it?

Since this is a QLED TV, you’re not going to get the absolute blacks or Dolby Vision support you’d find in one of LG’s OLED TVs. In addition, we’ve also anecdotally found the Q90’s voice controls sometimes prone to false-positives. 

How smart is it?

The Samsung Q90 QLED runs on Samsung’s Tizen-powered SmartOS. It boasts SmartThings support, Ambient mode and supports all the usual streaming services. 

SBS OnDemand, ABC iView, 9Now, 7Plus, Binge, Apple TV+, Disney+, TenPlay, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Stan are all present and accounted for here. 

How much does it cost?

At launch, the pricing for Samsung’s Q90 started at $6499. Nowadays, you can find it for around half that depending on the size and retailer. At the time of writing, the Good Guys have limited stock of the 65-inch model for AU$2994.

You can learn more about the Samsung Q90 by checking out our hands-on preview of the QLED here

LG C9 4K OLED TV

LG C9 4K OLED TVCredit: LG
LG C9 4K OLED TV

What’s good about it?

LG were an early adopter in OLED and, as a credit to that foresight, they’re still considered the frontrunner for OLED picture quality in the minds of many AV enthusiasts. 

Even if the new LG C9 OLED 4K TV isn’t the heaviest of heavyweights when it comes to the company’s 2019 lineup, it still offers incredibly deep black and surprisingly vibrant colors. Both non-4K and HDR content gets an uplift here, courtesy of the second-generation Alpha 9 processor found inside the C9.

What’s not so good about it?

As with previous and prior LG TVs, the C9 relies on WebOS and the company’s trademark Magic Remote. 

Personally, I'm still not a fan of the control scheme here - even if WebOS as a platform is significantly more mature than many of the other Smart TV alternatives out there. If you’re in the same boat, it’s a definite downside to opting for the LG C9 over the other options.

How smart is it?

Out of the box, LG’s WebOS smart TV interface supports most major streaming platforms, including Netflix, Stan, BigPond Movies, Google Play Movies, 9Now, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, Eros Now, Youtube, YuppTV, ABC iView, SBS OnDemand, MLB.TV and WOW TV. 

Additional streaming apps are also available via the WebOS app store.

How much does it cost?

At launch, pricing for the LG C9 OLED 4K TV set out a starting point of $3899. In the time since, pricing for the C9 has depreciated somewhat. At the time of writing, The Good Guys have it for approximately $3399.

You can learn more about the LG C9 4K OLED by checking out our hands-on preview here.

Hisense R9 4K TV

Hisense R9 4K TVCredit: Hisense
Hisense R9 4K TV

What’s good about it?

Available in two sizes (65-inch and 75-inch), the R9 is the biggest and baddest TV in Hisense's 2019 lineup. It boasts all the QLED goodness you'll find in the Hisense R8, plus 2500 nits of peak brightness and Prime Array backlighting. 

What’s not so good about it?

Since it’s a QLED TV, the R9 lacks the absolute blacks you’ll get out of an OLED. It also relies on Hisenses’ own proprietary VIDAA smart UI - which may not be as well supported or responsive to use over the long haul as other platforms like Android TV are. It also lacks a built-in Chromecast to make up the difference, which is a clear downside versus some of the other TVs on this list.

How smart is it?

VIDAA U 2.5 supports most major streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, SBS OnDemand, Youtube and Stan. However, when it comes to the more specific or even local catch-up services, there are a lot of blind spots. Ten AllAccess, ABC iView, 7Mate, 9Now, Hayu and others are all missing in action.

How much does it cost?

At the time of writing, the Hisense R9 is more-or-less no longer in market. That being said, it's successor remains a compelling option. Local pricing for the 2020 Hisense Series 8 starts at AU$1595 through JB Hi-Fi.

Sony A9G

Credit: Sony

What’s good about it?

The Sony A9G OLED is the company's flagship OLED TV for 2019. It features over 8 million self-illuminating pixels and comes powered by Sony's X1 Ultimate Picture Processor.

Like previous Sony OLEDs, the A9G runs on Android TV and features the company's unique Acoustic Surface audio tech. In addition, the Sony A9G comes equipped with a "Pixel Contrast Booster" that adds extra color and contrast where needed.

When it comes to HDR, the A9G supports Dolby Vision and HDR10. 

What’s not so good about it?

Since it runs on Android TV, your software experience with the Sony A9G is going to be largely limited by the capabilities of that platform and the ecosystem around it. 

In addition, while the Acoustic Surface might be a solid value add for those without dedicated audio equipment of their own - if you already own a soundbar you want to use instead of the built-in one, it’s a bit of a waste. 

How smart is it?

The Sony A9G runs on Android TV - this means it supports all compatible Android apps and most major streaming platforms, including Netflix, Stan, YouTube, Twitch, Google Play Movies and Amazon Prime Video. It also supports Foxtel Now.

How much does it cost?

These days, Sony's A9G is a little trickier to find in retail than it once was. Nevertheless, you can still grab it via the Sony website here with prices starting at AU$3499 for the smaller 55-inch model, AU$4995 for the 65-inch model and AU$7495 for the 77-inch model.

TCL X7 QLED TV

TCL X7 QLED 4K TVCredit: TCL
TCL X7 QLED 4K TV

What’s good about it?

Available in both 65-inch and 55-inch sizings, the TCL X7 QLED is the company’s current flagship. 

The TCL X7 boasts fully 4K and HDR compatibility and runs on Android TV Oreo. It boasts Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant powered voice controls, local dimming and a built in Onkyo Audio soundbar. 

What’s not so good about it?

Since it runs on Android TV, your software experience with the X7 is going to be limited by the capabilities of the platform.

In addition, the Onkyo Soundbar included here might be a solid value add for those without dedicated audio equipment of their own. Of course, if you already own a soundbar you want to use instead of the built-in one, it’s a bit of a waste. 

How smart is it?

The TCL X7 runs on Android TV and boasts all the same capabilities as similar hardware or other TVs like Sonys. The smart TV interface supports compatible Android apps and most major streaming platforms, including Netflix, Stan, Youtube, Google Play Movies,

How much does it cost?

Launch pricing for the TCL X7 QLED 4K TV started at $2199. It can now be found through limited retailers for around half that. At the time of writing, The Good Guys have it for $995.

You can read our full review of the TCL X2 QLED 4K TV here.

Panasonic GZ2000 OLED TV

Panasonic GZ2000 OLED TVCredit: Panasonic
Panasonic GZ2000 OLED TV

What’s good about it?

The Panasonic GZ2000 is the company’s flagship OLED for 2019 and one of the few 4K TVs out there that supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. It runs on the latest HCX Pro Intelligent Processor and touts a nine-speaker array that promises to beat out the blade speaker found in last year’s FZ1000. 

What’s not so good about it?

Panasonic’s My Smart Home UI isn’t necessarily as cutting edge or regularly updated as some of the other options. Once new streaming services like Apple TV + or Disney+ are introduced, support might be a little lacking. 

How smart is it?

Originally based on Firefox OS and now up to Version 4.0, Panasonic’s smart TV interface should support most major streaming platforms, including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, BigPond Movies, ABC iview, SBS on demand and FreeView Plus.

How much does it cost?

At launch, the Panasonic GZ2000 4K OLED TV will boasted a recommended retail price-tag of $8299. Unfortunately, in the time since, Panasonic have actually pulled out of the local Australian market when it comes to TVs. If you go looking for the GZ2000, there's a chance you might be able to find some lingering stock somewhere but your chances of finding a unit in your local JB Hi-Fi are pretty slim. 

This article was originally published in July 2019 and updated by Fergus Halliday in November 2020.

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